cover image Slow Horses

Slow Horses

Mick Herron. Soho Constable, 25 (336pp) ISBN 978-1-56947-643-7

Banished to London’s Slough House—the junkyard for disgraced MI5 agents—for botching a high-profile training exercise, River Cartwright spends his days sifting through garbage and transcribing phone conversations in Herron’s riveting spy thriller. His boss, Jackson Lamb, who governs Slough House as if it’s his own kingdom, makes sure the “slow horses” know they’ll never get back to high-profile work at Regent’s Park. River, bored with his tedious assignments, discovers that one of his fellow agents has been lifting information from Robert Hobden, a well-known journalist. When a Muslim teenager is kidnapped and a video promising to decapitate him appears online, River wonders if it’s connected to Hobden, who has ties to the extremist British Patriotic Party. Herron (Smoke & Whispers) avoids the easy cliché of misfits banding together to right a wrong, instead painting his slow horses as complex characters who are just as fallible as their “faster” counterparts. (June)